It’s looking very likely that the Reds could be due for a sizable trade sometime in the coming month. Sitting 3 games back and now in 4th place in the Central (just slim percentage points behind Pittsburgh), a shakeup and acquisition of talent at some glaring spots could go a long way toward making another postseason appearance.
Today we will look at some of the potential trade targets rumored to be available, some of which who could help and others not so much…
Erik Bedard – Count me among those who believe that Bedard has finally gotten back on track as a healthy and effective pitcher. Sporting a 2.93 ERA and 1.145 WHIP and a 4-5 record with Seattle thus far, I believe Bedard could be one of the pitchers on the market that could help the Reds and provide more than what is being gotten from the back of the rotation as of now. With Seattle contending in second place in the AL West it might be a tough prospect for a Bedard trade but with an anemic offense and some holes in the outfield, they may be willing to listen to an offer of some big league ready position prospects to bolster a position of weakness.
J.J. Hardy – While there is a black hole at short in Cincy, JJ Hardy has been lights out at short in Baltimore. Batting .301/.371/.534 with 9 HR and 28 RBI, Hardy is recapturing some of the magic that had him as a potential breakout player early in his career in Milwaukee. Any trade involving Baltimore could also entail a potential package deal of Hardy and Jeremy Guthrie, but more on Guthrie later.
Paul Maholm – Call me crazy, but I think Maholm would be a useful piece at the back of the rotation. With a 3.18 ERA thus far this year, he is sort of pitching beyond his league thus far (a .272 BABIP that’s 30 points below league average attests). His ground ball stats are solid (.90 GB/FB ratio) and he isn’t giving up a ton of longballs (6 in 100.1 innings in 2011) though. A favorable contract and only being 29 help as well. If Pittsburgh continues to play well however they may not be in a position to sell. If Maholm can be had for a haul of Ramon Hernandez and a AAA prospect, it could be a good deal for the Reds.
Jeremy Guthrie - The Guthrie/Reds link might be the most reported rumor thus far in the year. Upon reviewing the stats, here’s hoping that the smoke doesn’t mean the fire. It really doesn’t seem that Guthrie could provide anything more than what the Reds have already gotten from their 3 through 5 starters thus far. A high flyball rate, low strikeouts, and a lot of homers served up thus far make me think that Guthrie in GABP could mean trouble. Don’t be surprised though if a Hardy/Guthrie combo deal to the Reds isn’t discussed. In fact, it already has been here on Fangraphs.
Jose Reyes – Yea, it’s been bashed into the ground even by me. But the pending availability of Reyes combined with the lack of production from short for the Reds means this rumor just will not die. While I will not doubt acquiring the NL leader in batting average wouldn’t hurt there are just too many other issues to make this deal anything more than a fan’s wishful thinking. Impending free agency for Reyes with a nearly zero chance of resigning, an astronomical asking price, iffy health, and historically low on-base are all pretty good reasons for the Reds to just keep walking.
Ryan Ludwick – Also already discussed and pupu’d here on BRM, the Reds and a handful of other teams have been reported to have inquired about Ludwick yet again. I will say that I am against the acquisition of Ludwick, but only for what the asking price was reported to be: Chris Heisey. If that price stays the same or raises, this trade makes zero sense for the Reds. Giving up too much in the long term for an overall inconsistent Ludwick would just be crazy. It’d do little to nothing to increase left field production for the Reds.